How to Become a Bike Courier in New York City

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If you like to ride your bicycle, becoming a bike courier may seem like a dream job. You're paid to do what you love. You're outside much of the day. And, with constant exercise, you'll certainly lose weight. Before you quit your current job, plan your move out carefully, as you would with any job change.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicycle
  • Bicycle helmet
  • Bike chain and lock
  • Waterproof messenger bag
  • Train and work out. If you land a job, you need to be ready to bicycle for an eight-hour day, several times a week. If you're not there yet, start preparing.

  • Make sure your bike is up for the challenge. The New York Bike Messengers Association's FAQ page recommends a bike with thin, slick tires and a lock that can secure your bicycle to a variety of objects, since you don't know where you'll have to tie it up.

  • Find a New York phone book and list the names and phone numbers of the messenger and delivery companies.

  • Talk to some of the companies and find out if they're hiring and what its policies are. If possible, talk to some employees about the atmosphere at the company and the attitude the bosses have toward the workers.

  • Check employment websites for openings at the companies you like best, or go down and fill out an application.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're moving to New York from out of town, you may feel nervous about not having a job before you arrive. The association FAQ says that except during summer, when some companies have hiring caps, there will always be someone hiring.
  • As digital transmission makes it easier to send documents electronically, the number of bike couriers has dropped 5 to 10 percent a year since 2000. It's possible you're entering a dying field, though the industry is a long way from dead yet.

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